Christmas · motherhood

Why There’s No Elf on My Shelf

Pulled this from the archives to link up with Kristen at Works for Me Wednesday.  Do you know Kristen?  She’s the heart behind Mercy House and a genuinely beautiful person inside and out. I didn’t actually get to meet her at Allume, but I saw her around and I promise, she’s just as genuine as she seems. 

So after this post by Lisa-Jo, I must not be the only one who’s feeling already a little overwhelmed by Christmas.  It’s all good intentions and high expectations and glorious traditions that send me into a downward spiral this time of year.

Of course, now I have to add Pinterest and Facebook and bombardments of snail mail gift-order catalogs and parenting magazines filled with ideas for perfect holiday togetherness (getting along with the in-laws!) to the mix, and I start to actually feel a little bit guilty about not giving my kids the same Christmas everyone else is having.


Because I truly want to believe that Christmas can be simple and extraordinary at the same time.  I want to believe that magic happens when we least expect it, least plan it, least look for it….like on a starry night in a little town inside a manger of hay.

I want to celebrate Christ and family and all the good things of life.  Like having enough spare change sometimes for a latte.  Like my children having four great-grandparents who adore them despite the mess.  Like discovering great coupon deals on stuff I can give away to those who need more than I ever will.

I posted on facebook today:

So are we negligent parents because there’s no elf at our house? I’m not opposed to the elf, just the $25 it takes to buy it…

because all the pictures I saw this morning showed all these elves up to various mischief in everyone else’s house.

Stop.  I’m comparing myself to everyone else.  Again.

Want to know what happened in my house this morning?  Joshua went to work super early.  He set the alarm and made the coffee before he left.  I love him.  I made Pillsbury orange sweet rolls straight out of the can for my girls.  They got dressed, no fuss, because for two days in a row, we’ve remembered to set out clothes the night before.  I had to wake Gus up. That never happens.  He slept from 9-2 and from 2:45-7:30.  That, my friends, is a Christmas miracle.  We loaded up the peeling paint Odyssey.  We were on time (barely) for school.  I came back home and put snotty Amelia on the couch and nursed the baby and uploaded pics like this to Shutterfly.

It was nothing spectacular, but I’m betting there are plenty of you out there who wish that had been your morning.  Plenty of you who, like me, are constantly comparing and feeling that you fall short in some area of parenting, or decorating, or joy-giving.

Don’t.  Maybe this season we could celebrate our Savior and we could celebrate each other? Because chances are something you’re doing, that you don’t think is all that spectacular, is probably pretty awesome when shared with others.

And just for fun…here are some of my favorite responses to that facebook post:

Yes, most definitely. When I see your 4 beautiful, happy, well-loved children…. I think to myself, wow, they must have negligent parents… I bet they don’t even have an Elf on the Shelf. Those poor children 😉;)

Forget the kids! What about me? We never had an elf growing up and it is clear that is the source of all my adult short comings. On the other hand, I think it might have just caused nightmares when I was little. At any rate, maybe we can start a “no elf” parenting club.

No elf at our house. I would ruin the entire experience by forgetting to move it, etc. Lol. I keep telling myself that my kids are too old. That makes me feel better.

Good Lord Lindsey that is ALL we need, one more little person making messes around the house!

Why add one more thing to Christmas chaos? We all survived without a stupid elf in our houses. That’s my thought.

We don’t have one here. I agree with Jaime though you’re clearly a negligent parent…4 kids, dressed & fed. Not enough…add something else to your duties

See? from others’ perspectives, I’m doing just fine.  I bet you are, too.

That’s last year’s “stack” but here’s a peek at this year’s courtesy of MB Shaw Photography.

2 thoughts on “Why There’s No Elf on My Shelf

  1. Oh, this is a good one, Lindsey.

    Definitely no elf here. Although, I can’t be as clever about it as the rest of your responders were about it. 🙂 Just no elf. That’s it. The end. They’ll live. 🙂


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